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Us 15, Joe Biden 7, U.s. 7, America 6, John Kerry 5, Nra 5, Terrence 5, Biden 4, Washington 4, Newtown 3, Melinda Pierce 3, Campbell 3, Unitedhealthcare 2, Geico 2, The Home Depot 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Katrina 2, E.j. 2, Dennis 2, Yale 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    February 21, 2013
    9:00 - 9:59am PST  

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the national dialogue on gun safety is heading one way, and the states are heading another. it's thursday, february 21st, and this is "now." >> joining me today msnbc contributor and washington post columnist the effortlessly elegant jonathan caphart, editor and publisher of the nation katrina vandenhugle, and e.j. deon and from salon erin carmone. vice president joe biden will deliver the keynote address at a gun violence summit, ten miles away from the site of the shooting in newtown. as congress prepares for a major battle over the sequester,
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biden's speech is proof that the white house isn't letting up on new gun safety laws. neither is the president's campaign organization turned advocacy group. organizing for action is holding gun safety events around the country tomorrow to ebb gauge its 2.2 million supporters and launching a $100,000 ad campaign targeting gop senators. they are up against the ultimate lobbying bohemath. today the n.r.a. is beginning phase two of a $350,000 ad campaign. it includes print ads like this one that will run in five states targeting north carolina senator kay hagen. the ad reads "will obama's gun proposals work? his own experts say no." the debate continues at the national level, and states are moving quickly on gun legislation, but in opposite directions. today the new jersey statehouse will vote on 20 bills, including banning magazines over ten rounds, banning armor-piercing bullets, and requiring universal background checks. on monday the colorado statehouse passed a bill passing
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universal background checks, limiting magazines to 15 rounds and banning concealed guns in stadiums and on college campuses. meanwhile, in south carolina a state senate committee approved a bill allowing cob sealed guns in bars. republicans in the arizona statehouse introduced a bill that would allow teachers to carry guns in schools, and in wyoming the statehouse just passed a bill that would invalidate a federal ban on assault weapons and charge federal officials trying to enforce the law with a misdemeanor. the wyoming senate is recommending removing that provision gin the fact that it would seem to flagrantly violate the united states constitution. if broad gun safety reform remains in limbo at the national level, americans can look forward to a patchwork of gun laws based, surprise, largely on red and blue states. katrina, in talking about that raft of legislation, it literally appears as if we are a beast with two heads moving in opposite directions on gun safety. i mean, at the national -- at the national level the dialogue is heated and empassioned, but
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there's a sense that we are moving to more sane gun laws in this country, but then you look at what's happening in a lot of -- i will say red states where the statehouses are moving to loosen gun laws, to make guns more -- >> it's a -- this is always a regional problem in many ways, but it is the case that you're going to see certain states like my own new york leading the way with very tough gun laws, but i was struck by an article in the "new york times" i think today about what's going on in montana. have you the possibility, it seems to me, of pulling out people who understand they are responsible gun owners and feel that the nra has become this radicalized extremist organization, so the nra is out there with this big campaign. counter veiling pressure becomes so important which is why i think the battle is still on at the national level. the mayors against illegal guns, gabby giffords' new pact. these are important signs that the nra doesn't represent millions of responsible gun owners. that's why the universal
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background check seems to me one that is going to have real appeal and has a real possibility at the national level for passage. >> and if you talk about the sort of counter veiling forces against the nra, there is organizing for action that we mentioned. there is also mike bloomberg, e.j., and his super pact, which is pouring $2 million in the race for jesse jackson's now vacated seat and is actually trying to prove the point that, hey, if there is a pro-gun lobby, there is a gun safety lobby that hopefully can be as effective. >> yeah. i mean, those of us that don't like citizens united have our questions about anybody pouring all that money in any ways. however, if you are going to be able to do it, this is doing it to make a very effective point, and he really has forced gun control into that race as perhaps the central issue, and i think when we take a step back, yes, you are quite right. i was talking about that beast with two heads metaphor in my head. you are quite right. we are moving in different directions, but in 20 years it's been 20 years since we had this much pressure to pass sane gun
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laws, and i think we always have to keep our eye on that big thing. as katrina mentioned, there is an extremely good chance that we're going to get universal background checks. there is a decent chance that we will get a ban on the big magazines. there is a pretty good chance that we will get new gun trafficking laws. the nra for the first time in a very long time, maybe forever, is really playing defense, and that's an astonishing shift in this debate. >> can we talk about why that is? you remember, alex, when we were on this set when newtown unfolded. >> yeah, we were. >> and we were marveling not in the marvelous way, but what was going on that made this so important and such a big story, and it was because for the first time we saw children, 5 and 6 years old, slaughtered inside the safe space, which is a school, and everyone wondered while everyone says this time will be different. well, will this time be different? here we are almost many n march, and we are still talking about,
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this and not only are we still talking about this, but as katrina mentioned and e.j. mentioned, there's mayors against illegal guns, there's mayor bloomberg's super pact, and also organizing for, i guess it's now organizing for action, which is, you know, the president's campaign apparatus going whole hogg. >> i have gotten at least two emails over the last two days from someone under this e-mail banner saying do this for my dad, do this for my neighbor, do this for someone who has been affected by gun violence. i think it's fantastic that the nra is being knocked back on its heels in that the american people have found a venue and an outlet to push back. >> the nra, it is worth noting as we talk about the nra on its heels, this has also been in terms of making it rain and cash coming into the nra coughers, it has been a banner month. they raised $1.1 million in january, which was the best fundraising month since august of 2012, which was, of course, after the aurora shooting. when these tragedies happen, the
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nra -- i mean, they -- i think internally they think we're going to do better. people are scared that the president is going to come in with his swat teams and take guns away and may raise a lot of funds from it, and, unfortunately, money does confer some amount of power in terms of the national dialogue. >> i think in terms of the national dialogue, it had become so sclerotic. there was no opposition against the nra. organizing for action reminds me of the way the obama campaign, via vi the republican party, that dynamic where they cut out the middle man and emphasize direct engagement. they're still really entrenched powers. when you mention this state legislation situation, you suddenly find out what kind of world the nra and its supporters are envisioning, and that is this hobsian world where more guns for school teachers. my least favorite manifestation of this is more guns for rape victims because republicans and the nra need to show their concern for women. >> they've done so good on the rape issue thus far. why not bring it back up?
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>> exactly. the next question that you ask is if you got raped and you didn't shoot your rapist, what's wrong with you? again, they're envisioning this kind of society where everyone is heavily armed and kind of just like, you know, shooting at each other. >> but in the same way you mention the relationship with the republican party, there is an extremism that the nra has shown, which has moved people to say i don't want to be with that, and so you are seeing numbers. frank luntz did numbers for the nra showing that a majority of nra members support universal background checks, and let's not forget, this demands leadership. time is also of the essence, but when the president spoke, as he did so movingly, they deserve a vote. the victims of aurora, the victims of newtown, gabby gifforded, it was the first time in ten years that gun control, gun safety, ending gun violence had been raised in a state of the union address, so the mobileization that we've all been talking about combined with the shift, i think, slowly, admittedly, one has to be real about regional differences and how people feel about guns, but gun safety, ending gun violence,
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i think now has traction in a way it didn't ten, 20 years ago because of leadership, because of the extremism of an nra. not what it was. it was a sportsman's club. i think -- >> let's be honest. it represents -- it represents gun makers. i mean, this is a business. >> it's a lobby. it's a lobby. >> e.j., i want to talk about the difference between the federal and the state levels, because this is a problem that the republican party has on a host of different issues. they'll say one thing nationally, and then the state -- the governors, the statehouses, either take the party back two steps or just complicate the issue entirely. you saw that on reproductive health, women's health issues. they would say one thing nationally as a party, and then you have these laws that are passed at the state level, whether they're transvaginal ultra sounds or amendments. they push the party back. republicans in congress actually want to see some sort of gun safety reform. they can't even really feesably speak in moderate tones without being undermined by a lot of these republican governors or statehouses that are passing legislation that puts the guns in the hands of teachers and
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schools. >> but it depends where they're from. erin made a really important point, i think, which is that for years and years people who advocate what i would see as saner gun laws, get a constant pushback that you don't respect the culture of rural america. well, i don't believe that's true, but that's been an argument they made, and suddenly i think people are realizing, wait a minute, what these guys are talking about is not respecting the culture of everyone else, a vast majority. most americans don't own guns. most americans don't want to own guns. most americans don't want to have to arm themselves to protect themselves and so this world that they are pos iting, people are talking about who is imposing what on whom? in terms of the state, yes, you have a certain number of states that are going to do whatever the nra says, but in the congress when you look at the house in particular, the key is there are a lot of suburban and ex-urban republican members of congress who know that their own
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constituencies want them to vote for reasonable gun laws, so, yes, the congress person from wyoming is probably not going to vote for any of this, but there are suburban new york, philadelphia, chicago, and other great metropolitan area, congress people on the republican side, who really want to vote for something. >> they have elections coming up. they have elections in 2014, which i think the nra certainly is gunning for, but other groups are also mobilizing for. nofa, which we were talking about. >> i do want to say on the sort of cultural argument, i think proponents of gun safety laws have gotten a little bit better, which is to say more in touch with people who are hunters, people who are gun owners. i point to the example of bill clinton who said, listen, you can't alienate these people. they are americans just like us. we have to understand that this is part of tropical depression. i want to play a little bit of sound from joe biden yesterday. >> i was just thinking about him. >> teeed up just for you. let's lisp to what the vice president had to say. >> guess what, a shotgun will keep you a lot safer. a double barrel shotgun. you want to keep people away in an earthquake, buy some shotgun
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shells. >> if you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun, have the shells, the .12 gauge shotgun. you don't need an ar-15. it's harder to aim. it's harder to use. and, in fact, you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. buy a shotgun. >> he says buy a shotgun again tend just for emphasis in case we were wondering what joe biden thinks people should buy for self-protection. it's kind of uncomfortable as i think that made a lot of people biden saying i tell jill just go outside if you think something is going wrong, fire two rounds into the sky, as much as we don't necessarily want to hear a vice president saying that. it is important to have people who understand the importance of self-protection, the role of guns in ordinary life, in terms of, you know, intruders and so forth, a sense of peace that guns confer to a lot of americans. >> well, that was the beauty of what joe biden was saying. he wasn't saying don't have a gun, don't protect yourself. he was saying you don't need an
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assault weapon if you have an intruder in your home. go, get a shotgun. he is actually telling people to go buy a gun, which, you know, flies in the face of everything that the nra tries to say about democrats and progressives on this issue of gun control. >> but governor vilsack of iowa, i heard him speak a few weeks ago. he was terrific in talking about, you know, these high capacity magazines which allow, you know, pump 30. we saw that in newtown in a tragic way. pump 30 bullets into a body in a minute. any good hunter should be taken out of the forest if you need 30 shots, rounds to take down a deer. you don't want that kind of -- but, on the other hand, i think we have to be careful because we have seen this great supreme court we have, which is prepared to roll back the 20th century and more, redefine the second amendment in ways which i think is very -- confirms a view that is hobsian, that is of the nra mold, and it's -- we need to take back the second amendment, which may not be the sexiest campaign, but we also need to
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redefine this as ending gun violence, and i think that language has become more important. ending gun violence, gun safety, and less -- >> they're not taking anybody's guns away. >> there's something -- yeah, biden made a point you can use a shotgun and not an automatic weapon, but sometimes i think that advocates have to control and can look phony on this. we're out there as hunters just like they are, and some are, but there is a kind of -- you look like you're reaching too hard to be potentially somebody you're really not, and sometimes i think just making the case for one of these laws would protect everybody is better than trying to pretend. >> are you saying that joe biden is -- joe biden said that. i think from talking points from the white house, but that's -- >> president obama is still certainly skittish from that campaign remark he made in 2008 which was caught -- >> that was offensive because he
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was -- the guns -- >> the guns. >> he didn't mean it that way, and there's a reason he travels with, what do you call it -- >> teleprompters everywhere. >> that comment was offensive. i'm not saying you want to offend the about people who -- we all know people who own guns and who use guns. we don't want to offend them, but, on the other hand, you just don't want to prefend you're something you're not. >> right, but i think joe biden actually does own a shotgun and does actually have his wife -- if she's worried about something, go out there and sort of -- i mean, who knows what happens at the biden house, actually? i would also note -- >> that's a future show. >> three out of four people have used the adjective hob sfwl ian. we're waiting for your dropping of the phrase. >> keep waiting. >> after the break, the president is caught between a shale rock and a hard place. the white house and state department are expected to make a decision on the keystone pipeline next month. will the president approve the project or will he take a stand against hard sand oil. next on "now." [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
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>> one of the things i'm proud of is we expanded oil production since i've been president. we have actually seen the lowest amount of imports of foreign oil into the country in about ten, 13 years. we're going to continue to increase production, build new pipes to get products to market, but we also have to make our economy more efficient and use less oil. >> that was president obama in an interview yesterday answering a question about rising gas prices. his response illustrates a
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balancing act he faces on manager issues. moving towards energy independence and also addressing climate change concerns. nothing tests that balancing act more than the decision on the keystone xl pipeline. an approval the president delayed last year due to concerns over the pipeline ae environmental impact. the keystone is back on the table. the $7 billion project would build a 2,000 mile pipeline connecting canada's oil sands to refineries in texas and the gulf of mexico delivering more than 700,000 barrels of heavy crude oil into the country every day. president obama and the state department are expected to make a decision by the end of march, but it won't be easy. last weekend tens of thousands of environmentalists took to the streets of washington in what's being billed as the largest climate rally in u.s. history. opponents of the pipeline say that the extraction of the crude oil from the canadian tar sands is exponentially harmful to the environment. climate activist bill mcgibbon
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has said it's akin to lighting a carbon bomb, causing irrepairable harm to the environment. he emphasized in both his nagral and state of the union speempz this year wroosh proponents of the pipeline argue it will reduce our dependency on foreign oil and trans-canada, the energy company with the bid to build the pipelines, says it will create 20,000 jobs. last month 53 senators, 44 republicans and nine democrats wrote a letter to the president asking him to approve the pipeline saying it was a matter of economic development and energy security. in a recent poll 69% of americans say they support the construction of the pipeline, while only 17% oppose it. for a president who has been sworn into office twice with a promise to address fossil fuel dependency, keystone's answer is harder to answer than just yes or no. joining us now from washington to discuss is melinda pierce, the legislative director for the sierra club. great to have you. >> great to be here. thanks. >> i know the sierra club, the
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executive director, has been outspoke oen this issue. it does seem like a tricky act for the president. there we are still in an economic recovery. there is the question of jobs. there is the question of energy. and the fact that we are a petroleum-based economy, and fulfilling the energy reform is something the president very much wants to do. what do you propose -- what position do you propose he take? >> well, there's only one answer to that question, and that is he has to reject the keystone pipeline. he used a lot of real estate both in his state of the union address as well as hiing inaugural address to talk about a call to action on climate. there are two paths we can take. there's a path that moves us away from fossil fuels to a clean energy future. we know we can do that. the other path is to continue business as usual, and were he
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to accept the keystone xl pipeline and set off the carbon bomb as bill mckibbon says, that is choosing the wrong path, and we have every confidence that he will make the right decision, and that's why, alex, as you mentioned, nearly 50,000 people were many the streets of d.c. demonstrating to the president that he has our support to reject keystone. >> melinda, i want to ask you from -- playing devil's advocate -- the counter argument, and i'll read a quote. like it or not, fossil fuels are going to remain the world's dominant energy force for the foreseeable future, and we are far better off getting our oil from canada than, say, venezuela. tar sands oil problems are all in all pretty small. sort of a similar stance echoed if the pages of nature magazine. there are a lot of folks that say, okay, well, if we don't take this energy, china will, and we're just going to be more reliant on questionable states to supply our energy. >> well, we can't drill our way out of the problem. america is facing a climate
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crisis, and nowhere and never before has that not been more real to the average american. with the droughts m midwest, the fires in the west, the deracho in the southeast, hurricane sandy, americans are seeing the affects of the climate on steroids, and our polling shows that 65% of them say -- know that they need to take action on climate now. keystone locks us into a dirty energy future. we have to make mooufl aggressively to a clean energy future. since president obama took office, wind has doubled in those four years, and solar has increased by a factor of five. we have clean energy solutions. that is our future. mesh innovation is not about keystone and dirty fuels. it's about clean energy, clean
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sustainable manager. >> the white house is talking about getting involved in the gay marriage debate and immigration reform. if he approves keystone and does nothing measurable in terms of the next four years on energy reform, how much of an issue is that for his legacy? >> well, it depends on how you are defining manager reform. i mean, as melinda just said, wind has doubled. solar is on the increase. let's not forget about cafe standards. when the president came into office, if i'm not mistaken, they have almost doubled since he came into office. when the cap and trade bill went down in congress, the president moved to do as much as he could through executive action to do something to address climate, and cafe is part of that. i agree with joe that for the foreseeable future we all have to admit that our -- oil is not going to go away.
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not for the foreseeable future and that we have to figure out a way to thread the needle to live with it, but also to make sure that wind and solar and all these other alternative energies are up to scale so that we can at some point let's say if there's a keystone pipeline, 20, 30 years from now that it's a no brainer to reject the pipeline, but quite frankly, i mean, if the oil is going to go to china or go someplace else, then why not build the pipeline and have the jobs and the energy come here? >> my understanding is the pipeline, first of all, the tar sands oil is exponentially dirtier, but it's going to provide some 4% of our needs. i think the tragedy here is you do have a president who wants to do a kind of apollo project for green to double down on renewables, on clean energy, but you do have ferocious opposition. you have a country still reeling from a fragile recovery, and the arguments about economic security provided by these jobs i think is overstated.
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the number is 20 thoushgs overstated. i think -- >> the numbers range. i'll interrupt for one second. the cornell study finds that the pipeline would add 500 to 1,400 jobs. trans-canada says it could be 20,000 jobs. the chamber of commerce says just a little bit higher at 250,000 jobs. >> this is a great moment to move this country towards a new future and not get locked into the pipeline. it is always tough to legislate for the future, but it is also the case, as melinda pierce said, that more and more americans are seeing this in their lives, direct lives work the extreme weather. the droughts, the fires, the hurricanes. this is a teachable moment. the president has a lot of stuff on his plate. this is staring down the barrel of a calamity beyond what we are capable of mablging. >> it's become i think really in a substantive way an economic issue and a way that i think a lot of people thought of greene energy or environmentalism as
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something that's affecting americans wallets and pocket books. you're looking at the cost of goods going up. you're looking at the droughts in the mississippi raising food prices. you're looking at all sorts of residual effects of having, you know, a polluted environment and global warming. i want to ask you in terms of moving the white house or the administration on this issue and sort of pressure points john kerry is our new secretary of state. the state department oversees the ruling on keystone. i want to play a little bit of sound from john kerry yesterday making the case for doing something on climate change. >> we as a nation must have the foresight and the courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and our grandchildren, and that is an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmark of a dramatically
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changing climate. >> secretary kerry says he wants to take a more active role in determining poll. do you see him as possibly being a mover and shaker on this issue in terms of convincing the president one way or the other? >> well, there's -- there is not a better and bigger champion for action on climate change than john kerry. he is in a key position to help truly evaluate the decision in front of him. the state department will look at the eis, decide whether or want not, you know, whether it is adequately studied. he says he wants a full and fair accounting. i hope his recommendation to the president is no, this pipeline is not in the national interest. john kerry is the key fwi to make that decision too. >> keep your eyes on john kerry. that's the inside scoop. thank you to the sierra club's melinda pierce. good to have you. >> thank you. >> republicans seem to be coming around on the dream act. at least on principle, but what does that practically mean for the estimated 2.1 million dream act kids? we will talk to director and
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discover how pnc wealth management can help you achieve. visit pnc.com/wealthsolutions to find out more. earlier this month "meet the press" house majority leader eric cantor indicated there might be hope for the children of undocumented immigrants. >> so you would support the dream act? >> i have put out a proposal -- i don't know what the dream act at this point is. what i say is we've got a place, i think, all of us can come together and that is for the kids. >> we'll see if the kids can bring republicans and democrats together. davis goingen him joins us next on "now." [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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>> they're americans in their hearts, in their mipdz, in every single way but one, on paper. >> last year president obama announced an executive action allowing certain children of undocumented workers, or dreamers, to remain in the country without fear of deportation. he took this action after the dream act failed in congress due to a gop-led senate filibuster. according to the pew research center, hispanic center, 1.7 million of the approximately $11 million undocumented people in the u.s. currently qualify as dreamers. >> according it a recent economic constituted kwli passing the dream act would add $329 billion to the u.s. economy and create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030. the dream is now a campaign
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dedicated to advancing the principles behind the dream act launched by lore even powell jobs, widow of steve jobs. the website the dream is now.org features the stories of several dreamers. one is terrence park. >> just yesterday terrence was accepted into the masters program in biostatistics at yale, but the dream act doesn't pass by the time he graduates, then he will have no choice but to take a job where someone pays him you should the table. >> which means the president of the berkeley math club will be doing some hard manual labor. >> the campaign is partnered with davis gugenheim author of "an inconvenient truth" to produce a documentary that tells the stories of the lives of those affected by the dream act. he joins us from los angeles, california. davis, i'm a huge fan. it is really great to have you on the program. >> hi, aleggs, it's good to be here. >> i think one of the most meaningful things to combatting the intransjens and a lot of the stereotypes around immigration
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reform is to actually put a human face on this. it's not just sort of faceless immigrants running over the border. these are people who have struggled, people who are contributing to the u.s. economy, people who have dreams and are striving for goals like all of us. i would love to know what first drew you to the project? >> well, i meet people like this all the time. terrence park, who is in this video, you can watch it on our website, the dream is now.org. he is this fabulous kid. he is from south korea. he has worked in laundry mats and odd jobs to pay through berkley. he got into yale. do we want him to go to another country and work? we want to keep these people. we want to keep them as ours. >> my job as a director is to put a face to this issue, and i think a lot of the time when you watch this the debate about it, it's all about fear and politics
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and when you meet these people, you say these people are more american than us. we got to keep these people and keep their potential and get our economy growing. >> and i think it also is a question of the us versus them dichotomy. on some level this argument has been dominated by a they do this and they do that, and you see some of the footage that you're including in the documentary, and it's not -- it's obviously about showing who they are, but it's also about who we want to be as a country and the idea that we as a country would punish this kid who is clearly academically incredibly talented, who is a stat igs and is going to yale that we would let him sort of achieve his dreams that we would be that country i think is an incredibly forceful argument for the dream act. >> well, how many of us have parents, grabbed parents, great grandparents who came here without documents? these kids came when they were young. they didn't choose to come here. when they sat in the classroom and they learned about america, they bought into it more than any of us, because they -- and what happens is they -- the
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story is always the same. this is how lorrine jobs has gotten involved with college track. she helps kids that are underserved get through college, and what happens is they find out in high school that they're not legal. you know, terrence got into yale the day we were shooting with him, and he is worried he is not going to be able to get -- pay his tuition because of the laws in connecticut, so he is now going to have to go back -- if he goes to yale, he will have to go back and get odd jobs to be able to do that. if we don't pass the dream act and he gets a graduate degree, to we want him to stay in america and use his potential, or do we want him to go somewhere else? that's what is happening. we want to keep these people. >> we want to keep terrence here. i want to look at this with our panel. we are talking a lot about immigration reform because it is very much on the menu, as it were. the senate has a bill, which probably is i think -- if we're looking at the most hopeful avenue for reform it may be in
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the senate. it ties comprehensive immigration reform. it ties a pathway to citizenship to border security. this to me is one of the most flummoxing things. the net migration from the mexico to the u.s. is zero. there are more people going from the u.s. to mexico than from mexico to the u.s. i think this stat is totally underused. president obama has spent $73 billion on border security and immigration reform -- immigration enforcement. that is more than the budgets of all other federal law enforcement agencies -- the f.b.i., the secret service, the dea combined. bush, president bush, spent $37.4 billion. the fact -- the idea that somehow the president has been soft on border security, that's something we need to amp up with thousands of -- i think there are eight -- there are 18,500 border agents presently on the border, and, yet, somehow a path to sit sfwlenship has to be tied to beefing up security. >> well, i think you are right to be flummoxed.
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i think what you are seeing here, partly, is a debate that picked up from 2007 acting as if nothing that's happened since 2007 has actually happened. you are quite right. it's a combination, obviously, of a bad economy, but border security, more deportations under president obama, which has made -- which has made, you know, a lot of latino groups unhappy, by the way. we're going to say let's go ahead with citizenship, or is this an excuse not to move people down a path to citizenship? i have the sense that even, you know, folks like marco rubio who
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criticized president obama's leap plan, i think in the heart of hearts, they know the border is secure, and they want to get us to a path to citizenship, and i think the real bedee bait may come down to how long should this path be? should it be eight years, ten years, 12 years? that's where we're going to debate, and that this other provision will be part of that debate, but in the end it will be about how are people going to have to wait and how long? >> we are looking at this unprecedented rate of deportations. these -- many of these people are the parents of the dream act people. i think when it comes to these conversations of, yes, we absolutely have to say here are real people who are contributing things. frankly not everyone who is in this country has yet had the opportunity or the capacity to go get a ph.d. at yale in math, but they're contributing in their own way. what is going to happen to those people? what is going to happen to the parents and brothers and sisters of these dream act people? it's sort of like a necessary but not sufficient. in the meantime what's happening is there's a tremendous rate of family separation.
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there is -- >> which could be stopped by executive action. >> yeah. >> tomorrow. >> yeah. >> as was the case with -- >> i think the opposite is happening. it's a little bit like president obama on foreign policy where he is really trying to out flank, out strategize, stick to the right in order to potentially open up the opportunity for future advancement. >> davis, in the video there is some interesting math. according to the center for american progress it costs $23,000 to deport one person. if the dream act passes, dreamers would earn 19% more and contribute $10 billion more in tax revenue. those numbers, i mean, you can't argue with the basic math there. >> yeah. go to our website, the dream is now.org and we actually break down the math for you. it's pretty -- it's pretty amazing, and, you know, these people are out there. you see a lot of undocumented people who are living under ground lives. they want to be paying taxes. they want to be buying into our health care. they want to be contributing to this country, but we're not
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letting them. if you look at this video we did, it adds up, and it's good for all of us. not only do we want this potential for our future, but it's actually going to boost our economy. >> this is so -- bringing people out of the shadows. we have not talked really -- we talked about terrence and make terrence stay. he may go to yale. think of the workers, the mel yonz of workers ins country, undocument immigrants who are maintaining, shoring up all kinds of enterprises and industries, and i do think davis is right that there is a transpartisan agreement across studies that there is an economic benefit to immigration, but at the end of the day it is who we are as a country. we are coursened in other ways by our politics. may this lift us up. >> davis, i will say i think you really changed the debate over climate change with "an inconvenient truth" and "waiting for superman." i hope you do the same on emgregs with "the dream is now." thank you for joining us. >> it feels like a no brainer.
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we got to get this done. >> indeed we do. the project is the dream is now, which you can learn more about on twitter at the dream is now. thanks, davis. coming up, it's been 107 days since we last heard from mitt romney, but the wait may be coming to an end. in just 20 days, count them, republicans will gather for their annual cpac meeting where the two-time presidential loser is scheduled to emerge from the shadows. will he get a golf clap or a standing o? that's next on "now." what do we do when something that's hard to paint, really wants to be painted? we break out new behr ultra with stain-blocker from the home depot... ...the best selling paint and primer in one that now eliminates stains. so it paints over stained surfaces, scuffed surfaces, just about any surface. what do you say we go where no paint has gone before, and end up some place beautiful. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. behr ultra. now with advanced stain blocking, only at the home depot, and only $31.98 a gallon.
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>> mitt romney brought us some of the greatest hits of the 2012 election cycle. ♪ o beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ for purple mountains majesty
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>> and oh, boy, has america missed him. we will talk about the rominese triumphant return to the national stage next on "now." [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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>> the return of the mittens. since his shell abbinging three months ago, mitt romney has been off the grid, presumably spending time in his mansion and making use of his car elevator. yesterday robert costa broke the news romney will speak at cpac next month. friends say he has become somewhat reless and is eager to contribute to the national debate, but not everybody is happy about the return of the rominee. matt lewis told "the daily beast" this is like a bad relationship that didn't work out. no one wants to look at those vacation pictures again. you just want to forget what happened. this is like bumping into her mom at the grocery store and hearing about her. jonathan -- >> that's --
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>> i am -- i am happy to bump into her mom at the grocery store. like, bring back mittens as a reminder of the man that the gop chose to be its presidential candidate. >> right. i am mustfied that he is going to cpac. he is going to conservatives. a group of people who are the base of the republican party that viewed him with such suspicion they anointed herban cain, militia bachman, rick perry, rick santorum, newt gingrich as front runners until they just decided oh, what the hell. >> we've got to -- a war of attriti attrition. >> it's not just mitt romney. when you look at the line-up of those speaking at cpac, you see a party in true disarray, discredited, pale male and stale. where are they going? that to me is lieberman almost more interesting than the return of a man who should just be going out and looting more companies as he did in his career. >> let me pause at something, e.j. there is talk about him returning from the shadows, but
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i actually think that the gop has spent really the last four months trying to prove that they are not the party much the 53% or the party of the elite, whether that's outreach eric cantor style at aei or the kinder, gentler proposal for the gop. the shadow of romney actually looms quite large over the republican party. >> i think that's absolutely right. first, i want to say this network owes romney a royalty for the number of times we have shown him sing oig america the beautiful." is it the golf clap? the irony is that mitt romney who had been the moderate politician in the past actually stuck the party with a real problem by going too far to the right on some of the most basic issues of equality and inequality. >> self-deportation. >> self-deportation. i hope he has a good sense. george mcgovern, after he lost in 1972, appeared before a group, and he said i wanted to
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run for president in the worst way, and i did. >> that's very good sfwloosh my dad worked on that campaign. is there anything mitt romney could do to burnish his image on the national stage? >> he seems to be flailing. he seems to not know what it is he wants to do. i'm glad he has found more gainful employment than prank calling his neighbors -- >> which he was record by the washington post have done doing that. >> it's a liablous publication. >> he might consider public service. not on the order of, you know, hanging out with the had-beens at cpac. >> i think he should go enjoy his wonderful wardrobe and car elevate or. >> that's all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when i'm joined by jillian, sam stein, karen finney, ben smith, chris hayes, and back again for oscar weekend, the one and only james lipton. until then you can find under the circumstances at
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